Tag: Pliny


Pliny, Nero, and the 'Emerald'

One notes here that Pliny does not actually explain why Nero should have preferred to watch the games in this way. The temptation is to assume that he must have been suffering from some sort of eye-condition, whether temporary or permanent, which he thought that he could relieve in this way, not least because the colour green was believed to be soothing to the eyes.


Lead Poisoning in Ancient Rome

Lead was known to the ancients from at least the 4th millennium BC, but its use increased markedly during Roman times, to the extent that it became a health hazard. Mines and foundry furnaces caused air pollution; lead was extensively used in plumbing; domestic utensils were made of lead and pewter, and lead salts were used in cosmetics, medicines and paints.


Suetonius and his treatment of the Emperor Domitian's favourable accomplishments

Suetonius’ negative portrayal of emperors was not limited to Domitian. Emperors Tiberius, Gaius, Claudius, Nero and Vitellius also received negative portrayal in accordance with the senatorial influence and damnatio memoriae evident in the literature of the period. This attitude towards these condemned emperors matched the views of the senatorial aristocracy who were the patrons of literary commissions and their authors.